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The story behind Britney Spears’ “Sometimes”

Now, let us return to the song mentioned earlier…

In January 1998, all Cheiron’s songwriters and producers, except for Denniz PoP, went on a two-week working trip to Florida.

Besides Denniz PoP, Cheiron now included Max Martin, Andreas Carlsson, Kristian Lundin, Per Magnusson, David Kreuger, Jake Schultze, Rami Yacoub, John Amatiello and Jörgen.

Even though a huge villa in downtown Key West was rented, it was overcrowded and Jörgen chose to stay at the nearby Hotel La Concha, famous for hosting war correspondents during the Cuba crisis in 1962.

Everyone worked late at night, and Jörgen was always the first to wake up. Most mornings, he would walk by himself through the town. During one of these walks, and with the embryo of a song in his head, Jörgen suddenly put most of the remaining parts together. He already had given it the title, “Sometimes”.

Returning to Stockholm and his studio Groove Shack, Jörgen completed the song and played it for Denniz PoP, Max Martin and Tom Taaloma (co-founder of Cheiron).
Denniz PoP: “Great, but perhaps a bit too nice?
Max Martin: “This is a really good song. Let’s send it to Martin!”

Martin Dodd, A&R at Zomba Records and Cheiron’s European Coordinator, immediately contacted the management of a new female artist for which, in his opinion, the song would work perfectly. The management’s answer came quickly: “We all love it! She’ll take it!”

The artist Dodd referred to was a 15-year old girl from Louisiana, USA – Britney Spears – and “Sometimes” was recorded at Cheiron Studios in May 1998.

Denniz PoP

By this time, few outside Cheiron knew that their mentor and undisputed leader was seriously ill. Involved in the recordings of Spears’ first album, Denniz PoP was one of its producers.

But on August 30, 1998, Dag “Denniz PoP” Volle tragically passed away after a short battle with a terminal stomach disease. He was only 35 years old.

“I’ll never forget the day I met Dagge, it was in December 1995 and I came to Cheiron for the first time. I rang the doorbell and he opened. Dagge was already a legend in the music business and he welcomed me with a smile and showed me all the studios. I remember saying to myself ‘I really want to work here’. A couple of years later, I was asked to come aboard as a songwriter. I will be forever grateful for the chance Cheiron and Dagge gave me, it truly changed my life.”

Denniz PoP Awards instituted in March 2013 >>

Less than five months later, on January 12 1999, Britney Spears’ debut album “…Baby One More Time” came out. Jörgen’s “Sometimes” was released on April 30 as Spears’ second single. It was produced by Per Magnusson and David Kreuger with additional co-production by Jörgen. Though it was not released as a physical single in the US, it became a worldwide success and peaked inside the top ten in eleven countries. In the UK it reached #3 and is to date Spears’ third best-selling single in the country.

On August 23, Spears’ third single, “(You Drive Me) Crazy”, co-written by Jörgen, hit the stores and just like “Sometimes” it became a huge hit landing at #10 in the US and at #5 in the UK.

Together with all the songwriters at Cheiron working on the album, “…Baby One More Time”, Jörgen received his first Diamond Award for selling more than 10 million copies in the US that year alone.  To date it has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.

Jörgen also wrote one song and co-wrote another for Spears’ follow-up album
“Oops!… I Did It Again”.

Released in the US on May 16 2000, it sold more than 500,000 units in 24 hours and 1,3 million in one week, the highest sales of a female artist ever and a record Spears still holds. The album’s sales generated Jörgen and Cheiron their second Diamond Award. Today it has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide.